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Author: Raine    Date: 02/21/2013 15:00:08

August 2011:
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he got "98 percent" of what he wanted in the final deal to raise the debt ceiling.

"When you look at this final agreement that we came to with the White House, I got 98 percent of what I wanted. I'm pretty happy," Boehner said in an interview with CBS News on Monday evening.
Yesterday: John Boehner Traps Himself on the Sequester
John Boehner uses a Wall Street Journal op-ed today to signal his party’s strategy, such as it is, on the budget sequester. The main message is to blame President Obama for the budget sequester. Now, that part of the message is obviously untrue — the sequester was a way to escape an economic crisis ginned up by House Republicans, and Boehner himself touted it in 2011.

But the untruth of Boehner’s claim that Obama is the Father of the Sequester isn’t the real problem here — that fact will get buried in he-said, she-said reporting. The bigger problem with Boehner’s strategy is what comes next.

Boehner’s end goal, as explained in the op-ed, is to “reform America's safety net and retirement-security programs.” He has no proposal to do so, however. And for good reason. Cutting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid is really, really unpopular. Boehner wants Obama to offer his own proposals to cut these programs to give Republicans political cover. But Obama won’t do that unless Republicans offer to increase tax revenue. And that is the thing they absolutely, positively refuse to concede on.
With 9 days to go before the sequester begins, it appears that the GOP is in a bit of a conundrum. Even though the GOP got 98% of what they wanted, it appears as though they no longer are satisfied with the product they themselves created. What is happening now is the country is being used as hostage to the policies they place above all else. In poll after poll Americans soundly support a combination of Budget cuts and new revenue. 76% of Americans, to be more specific. Steven Benen writes:
Why does this matter? A couple of reasons. First, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) routinely insist that they speak for "the American people" and know exactly what "the American people" want and expect. I suspect they'll keep repeating this silly talking point, but the only appropriate response to the argument is uproarious laughter. At this point, there is almost no overlap between what Americans want and what Republicans are offering -- and lying about public attitudes won't change that.
USA Today/Pew released a poll yesterday and guess what? Most Americans are more in line with President Obama than the Republican Party.
The survey underscores the quandary for the GOP as it debates the party's message in the wake of disappointing losses last November for the White House and in the Senate.

Now just 22% of Americans, nearly a record low, consider themselves Republicans. (snip)

The president's overall job approval rating is 51%, a bit higher than it typically has been for the past three years. The approval rating for Republican congressional leaders is a dismal 25%. Democratic congressional leaders stand in-between, at 37%.
In other words:
Last week the Democrats put out a smaller plan to deal with impending sequestration and the Republicans said no. Instead they are blaming everyone but themselves and doing nothing to stop the thing they despise. It's actually quite insane. If this is 98% of what they wanted, I don't think they have a clue what they want at all. People have said no to their budgets, they have said no to their idea of entitlement reform, they have said no to trickle down. If they are speaking for Americans, maybe they should stop for a minute and actually listen to them. We are speaking clearly regarding what we want. Instead of THEM being the party of no, maybe they should be the party of listening to what people are saying. Far be it for a liberal like myself to give them advice, but if they are really serious about trying to become relevant again, listening might be a good place to start.

It's not just that the demographics in this nation have changed, it is that the GOP refuses to evolve. They are getting more conservative while the nation remains center-left. How many letters do we have to read titled "The GOP Left Me" ? Yes, that is an actual website. I don't know what they can do about it at this point, but listening to the people regarding the sequestration cuts would help.

Then again, maybe the wrath of a headline like this Pentagon Warns of Sequesters Impact will wake up the Hawkish GOP when it is followed by these paragraphs:
The Pentagon warned 800,000 civilian employees worldwide Wednesday that they will be forced to take unpaid leave if deep budget cuts take effect next week, fueling growing anxiety about the impact of the automatic spending reductions on the nation’s economy and security.

In the most detailed account of the ramifications of across-the-board cuts, called the sequester, Defense Department officials said civilian personnel could be put on leave one day a week for 22 weeks — effectively cutting their pay by 20 percent for nearly six months. According to the Office of Personnel Management, 107,000 of these workers live in the District, Maryland and Virginia.
That isn't even including the domestic side of sequestration -- It's not only about cutting budgets, it is about taking away people's ability to pays bills. Keep that in mind when John Boehner says things like this:
“As the commander-in-chief, President Obama is ultimately responsible for our military readiness, so it’s fair to ask: what is he doing to stop his sequester that would ‘hollow out’ our Armed Forces?” House Speaker John A. Boehner (Ohio) said in a statement.
It's misleading at the very least. From that same article: Uniformed personnel are exempt from the sequester.

This is the sword the GOP wants to fall on? They cannot remain relevant on their current path. Only 22% of people identify as Republican -- leaving 78% as other. 76% want a combination of budget cuts and new revenue. Numbers don't lie unless you are John Boehner claiming to get 98% of what he wanted.

Something has to give. Americans deserve better than this. That is my 2 (per)cents.


67 comments (Latest Comment: 02/22/2013 01:44:15 by trojanrabbit)
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